I am a complainer.

I am a complainer.
I don’t have a big dream.
I am unsure what I would like to do with my life.
I don’t have such ambitions or desire to be that “successful” person as how our society defines.

But how I am is what drives me to think hard and creatively to find solutions for my complains, to have an open mind and live life with a glass half full perspective, to try different things to figure out what I like, and to enjoy small things in life every day that matters to me and define success in my own term.

So I don’t think there is anything wrong for being a complainer, or not having a big dream, or not having a clear answer for what I would like to do with my life.

Remember, try not to make hasty judgments based on your own rules and how things appear on surface. When you have an open and curious mind, and try looking at things from different angles, you will always discover new insights and be able to learn different perspectives that you weren’t able to see before.

Sarah in Amsterdam, NetherlandSarah, exploring a cathedral in Bruges Sarah exploring Bruges, Belgium Sarah in Bruges, Belgium Sarah in the oldest pub in Bruges

These are some pictures from my recent trip to Bruges in Belgium. I enjoy traveling. You can see new things, experience different cultures, food, and learn about new way of living and human history that I never knew before. And at the same time, it reminds me how lucky I am to call Toronto home. ❤

#Toronto #Bruges #Belgium #Europe #Traveller #TravelBlogger

Who, Why, What? Communicate clearly

In order for an organization to be successful and achieve its mandate, what do you think are the fundamental things that everyone involved in an organization needs to clearly understand? Three questions initially came to my mind:

  • WHO we are?
  • WHY we exist?
  • WHAT we do?

There are few variations and opinions you will encounter when reading through articles on this topic. However, the following are the common themes in a simplified form and we needs a bird’s eye view of an organization to be able to answer these questions.

  • Motivation: WHY does the organization work the way it does?
  • Function: HOW does the organization carry out its work to deliver the value?
  • People: WHO does what?
  • Network: WHERE is the work conducted?
  • Data: WHAT things are needed – i.e., resources and information?
  • Time: WHEN does work need to happen?

The discipline of holistically looking at an organization and conducting it’s analysis, design, planning and development is called “Enterprise Architecture“. Refer to Zachman Framework and The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) if you are interested in learning more about widely used Enterprise Architecture frameworks.

Enterprise Architecture Domains

Well defined Business Architecture Artifacts such as below can help providing answers and bringing clarity to those questions.

Please remember when creating artifacts:

  • Use simple language and diagrams as appropriate to convey the message.
    • Your goal should be to create things that can easily be understood by everyone at every level of the organization. If it’s complicated and hard to understand, no one will reference and use them.
  • Simplify Simplify Simplify… and Simplify!
    • Break down existing complexity – prioritize and focus on creating things that will help simplifying complexity, and support establishing a foundation to keep your organization moving efficiently, enable to respond quickly and adopt to ever changing environment.

Let’s keep things simpleBe logical, prioritize and focus on things that are important, communicate clearly using plain language to get everyone on the same page, foster collaboration to channel energy of your organization… and take your organization to the next level one step at a time!

Techie Princesa at Signiel Seoul.View of Seoul, Korea from Signiel, Seoul Hotel

View of Han River from 92nd floor at Signiel Seoul, October 2018

Who am I…?

I live and breath in diversity.
I respect my surroundings.
I practice minimalistic living.
I provide a place to rest, play and live to those in need.
I clean the air for living.
I cope with challenges that life brings with best of my ability.
I know when to let go things to prepare myself for what’s to come.
I change to grow and mature.
I nurture what’s holding me to stand tall when reaching for the sky.
.
.
.
Who am I…?
.
.
.
My name is Tree.
And I am proud to be part of life on earth.

– Sarah Chun

Photo taken in British Columbia, Canada

My ideal workplace is…

  • A place that treats people as its most valuable asset
  • A place that provides me opportunities to challenge myself, learn new things and grow not only professionally but personally
  • A place that allows me to have a work and life balance
  • A place that encourages open communications
  • A place that see failure as an opportunity for teams to learn and grow from
  • A place that recognize and appreciate good people and good work
  • A place where there is team spirit

What’s your ideal work environment? Please share your thoughts in the comment box below. 🙂

A photo taken in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Leadership is NOT

  • Leadership is NOT about holding a position with a fancy title in an organization.
  • Leadership is NOT about being in charge and telling people what to do.
  • Leadership is NOT about having a loud voice and being right all the time.
  • Leadership is NOT about finding weakness in others and shifting accountability.

I will call you a leader if you stay relevant to the people you serve and work with, by engaging them regularly, listening and validating their needs carefully and creating a culture of collaboration by working on building trust and respect with everyone involved.

I will call you a leader if you work on empowering employees who have the needs, answers, knowledge and expertise in their field to make the decisions on how to get their job done, and done efficiently to best serve the need of our customers. You believe that best idea must always win regardless of your position, background and experiences.

sunrise

Watching Sunrise From 92nd floor at Signiel Seoul in October 2018

Hug O’ War

Shel Silverstein Poem

Check out timeless books by Shel Silverstein at http://www.shelsilverstein.com/books/.

Happy Family Day Weekend in Toronto!

#Toronto #FamilyDay #LongWeekend #HappyWeekend

Know your business needs first!

Are you looking to retire your legacy applications or invest in new technology platforms to serve the need of your business better?

It’s important to remember that Technology is a Business Enabler

  • Buying a new technology will not fix your broken and/or inefficient business processes.
  • Do not choose and invest in new technologies unless you clearly understand the business problems you are trying to solve.
  • Technology will drive process improvements and transform the way business function if and only if it’s carefully chosen based on the business needs and used to support optimized business processes.

Here are some questions that will help you when formulating the migration strategy for your legacy applications:

  1. What are the purpose of your applications?
  2. What business processes do your applications support?
  3. If you have multiple applications in scope for the migration, are there any commonalities between them?
    • Important! Do you see an opportunity to consolidate them into a comprehensive, integrated enterprise system to reduce technology footprints and improve business processes?
  4. Are your applications integrated with each other? If so, what are the integration points?
  5. How large, complex your applications are?
    • # of forms, screens, menus, # of reports, complexity of reports…etc
    • # of databases and database tables, and its association to applications/forms/screen
    • Any plugins?
  6. Are they all internal applications (i.e. internal corporate use only)?
  7. Are they external facing applications (i.e. external users/stakeholders involved)
    • What are external users’ impact?
    • What are the risks involved?
  8. How authentication and authorization are handled?
  9. Is database migration also in scope along with the applications?
    • Is there a central database that your applications are currently interacting with?
    • If so, what are the integration points?
  10. Can each of the application be broken into individual modules (or group of functionalities) to migrate them in groups/phases?
    • You can use this as an indicator for determining how you can run the project in agile way.
  11. How well your applications are documented (i.e. business rules)?
    • Is there any tools that you can use to scan existing code to extract business rules?
  12. Are all functionalities exists currently being used and that they all need to be migrated over to new platform?
    • Any unused functionalities that you can retire?
  13. Can you determine the migration priorities?
    • If you have a limited resource capacity, priority must be determined.
    • Which application will provide the most business value when migrated over?
    • Which application will be most simple to migrate over?
    • Which business groups are most open for changes and new technology adoptions?
  14. Any enhancements that must be considered?
    • Are there any pain points raised by the stakeholders that you would like to address right away as part of the migration?

Once you define the strategy, a key to succeed in any migration project is planning, with an understanding that each migration project is different.

Remember:

  • Set a clear migration vision, goals, expectations
  • Not one approach fit all, spend adequate time on planning really goes a long way.
  • Use agile approach as appropriate for executing development work (see a diagram below for one of the potential agile approach you can take when migrating legacy application)

Database Application Migration

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Throughout my career, I’ve been involved in various digital transformation and migration projects as Applications Architect, Developer, Quality Assurance, Technical Team Lead, Business Systems Analyst, Business Analyst, Project Manager and Scrum Master. To name a few:

  • Website platform migration
    • Oracle WebCenter Interaction > Oracle WebCenter Portal
    • Oracle WebCenter Portal > WordPress
  • Enterprise search platform migration
    • Oracle Secure Enterprise Search > ElasticSearch
  • Enterprise Identity Management platform migration
    • Oracle Identity Management > EmpowerID
  • Online collaboration spaces, Intranet & Records Management platform migration
    • Oracle WebCenter Spaces > Igloo Collaboration platform
    • Oracle Universal Content Management > Igloo Collaboration platform
  • Database Application migration
    • PostgreSQL/Java Application to > MariaDB/Custom PHP Application
  • Enterprise E-learning platform migration
    • WebCT/Blackboard > Moodle
  • Enterprise In-house Legacy Applications (analysis only)
    • Custom Visual Basic applications > Java application

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